Since their discovery in the 1990’s, the study of a class of non-coding, single-stranded RNAs,
christened the microRNAs has opened up new vistas in the field of cancer biology. MicroRNAs bind to
their target mRNAs to act as either oncogenes or tumour suppressors. With the near-complete elucidation
of the biogenesis pathway, and the advent of rapid sequencing technologies, microRNAs have
slowly cemented their place as essential biomarkers for delineating the progression, metastasis, relapse
or drug resistance of cancer. Being crucial players in the cancer pathway, there has been considerable
urgency in designing molecules - both at the nucleotide and non-nucleotide level to counter the effects
of their binding. A number of different approaches have yielded quite a body of compounds which have
been found to be effective in the treatment of various tumours across many different organs. In this
study, the focus is on the review of the timeline of discovery and characterization of microRNAs, underlining
their importance in different cancers, shedding light on the discovery of anti-microRNA compounds
and illustrating their uses in deriving new strategies to combat cancer.
Keywords: Biomarker, MicroRNA, AntimiR, mRNA mimic, Small molecule inhibitor, RNA.
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